A collector’s wisdom is measured by their knowledge of
        what to look for and what to look out for. ~ Jason Paul Smith

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Artists & Works:   



The Cornet Society Described

The Cornet Society was a fraternity of artists, literati, academics, musicians. playwrights, high government officials and other important Parisians who met regularly from 1898~ the 1970s. Each meeting was held in a Parisian restaurant, for lunch or dinner, and on each occasion an artist member of the society designed an elaborate, fanciful illustration to accompany the menu. Members of the Cornet included many great French painters and illustrators whose works are included in the collection: Bombled, Carlegfle, Victor Clerice, Charles Gir, DeFeure, Abel Truchet, Fernand Gottlob, Greilsamer, Jules Grun, Henri Jamet, Lucien Jonas, Charles Leandre, Albert Michault, Maurice Milliere, Misti, Maurice Neumont, Francis Poulbot, Roedel, Armand Segaud, Louis Tinayre, Georges Villa and Alphonse Willette among others.

The Art Collection

The Cornet Society Menu Collection consists of approximately 400 illustrations, none of which are widely known. It is a singular collection assembled by Georges Wague, a famous actor and mime, who was a member of the Cornet for over 50 years. The illustration themes are primarily risque and are often accompanied with satirical commentary aimed at the selected president of each meeting. The art work is of extremely high quality, the reproductions excellent, and the collection is in exemplary condition.

Previous Owners of the Collection:

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Mime performer and teacher, actor, professor, prominent member of the Cornet Society, born in Paris on January 15, 1875; died in Menton, Cote d’Azur on April 17, 1965. 

Georges Wague’s mime performances (at theatres and salons all over Paris, including the Opera, and in the French provinces) are too numerous to list here, but some of the more famous include: The Chrysanthemum Doll (La Poupee aux Chrysanthemes),The Flesh (La Chair), the role of the Father Pierrot in The Prodigal Son (L’Enfant Prodigue) and Debureau in Estelle’s Romance (Le Roman d’Estelle).

Georges Wague was also renowned as a teacher, both privately in his rue Pigalle studio and as professor of mime at the National Conservatory of Music and Declamation.

Georges Wague is a unique figure, in that his career in the dramatic arts spanned so many different eras, and his genius encompassed everything from the traditional white mime to the brand-new art of the silent cinema.

Wague was a revered member of the Cornet Society for more than 50 years. He assembled, indexed and annotated the first 300 illustrations to commemorate the 300th meeting of the Cornet on January 25, 1933. Many of the illustrations include original sketches of Wague as Pierrot, with affectionate salutations from various artists/illustrators.

The collection was passed on to Alice Tully who studied with Wague in Paris in the 1920s. it was later sold at auction as part of the Tully estate.



14 September, 1902~ 12 December, 1993, Was born in Corning New York. Her father, William J. Tully, was a lawyer and two-term New York State Senator. The actress Katherine Hepburn is her second cousin.

The daughter of a Corning heiress and a state senator, Miss Tully trained as a singer in Europe and studied gesture under the tutelage of Georges Wague before turning her love of music toward enlightened philanthropy. Chair of the board of directors for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for nearly twenty-five years, she also served on the boards of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard School, and as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the Museum of Modern Art. France conferred on her the three steps of the National Order of Merit as well as the prestigious Legion of Honor. A charming woman whose activities influenced the musical tastes of New York City and the nation.


meet the team Jim Rua bought the collection at an auction in NYC in 1995. Jim established the Albany Restaurant, Cafe Capriccio in 1982. His website, www.cafecapriccio.com boasts that the Cafe has maintained its unique reputation throughout its existence and has been chosen by Capital-area media as Albany's Best Italian  Restaurant every year since.  I met Jim, an animated and interesting soul, in 1998. He was a wonderful host, passionate about his projects and art.

Copyright 1998-2023 by The Cornet Group.   Design by TheRajan

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Written by Jason Smith
All material within this website is the express property of Jason Paul Smith. Reprinting, reproduction, and uploading of The Cornet artwork, menus lithographs, postcards, photographs, or other copyrighted materials in whole or in part anywhere on the Internet is illegal and forbidden except with the written permission of Jason Paul Smith